Hey Hey (Not So) Silent Mike here again, this time with an interview with a very talented artist from ANA Comics named Nicholas Myers. Nicholas first came into contact with Comic Booked a few weeks ago interested in the site and wondering if we would post up some of his art. After looking at some of these amazing pictures I decided to do him one better and get him Comic Booked! I hope you folks enjoy the interview and the pictures!
For our readers please give me a small introduction of yourself and your professional work thus far.
Hey Michael, My name is Nicholas P. Myers and I’ve been working in comics for the past 20 years. I should use working in a loose term as I have been self publishing and not necessarily working for anyone or any company. I’ve published a graphic novel and a mini-series and have now, with two other friends I’ve met in networking, formed my own comic book company.
I was born with a pencil and sketchpad in my hands. Yes, that is definitely a cliche but it seems appropriate. My first recorded foray into the visual medium is a picture of a dragon/dinosaur that I drew when I was in kindergarten. After that, all I did was draw.
How much time a day do you put in just practicing?
I don’t practice the art of drawing nearly as much as I should. One rule of thumb is that you should sketch for at least an hour before you delve into drawing or inking actual pages. Not to make excuses, but I work a full time job and have two young girls and a wife that take up a good chunk of time. I’m not complaining at all, but that does make it a little hard to spend an hour of practicing. My choice is to start on the pages when I have the time or just not draw that night.
Which comic book companies would you love to work for?
I’m working for that company right now. As I said earlier, I started a company with two friends of mine that I met through networking with other writers and artists online. We started ANA Comics a little over a year ago and we’ve been working hard ever since. I love it for the main reason that I’m my own boss. I have full creative control over my properties.
But if I had to choose a company other than my own, I would have to say Image comics. Since they would provide me with the biggest opportunity to work on my own projects.
What’s the most difficult thing about being an artist?
For me, the most difficult thing about being an artist is being happy with what I’ve created. What I visualize and what I put down on paper, or canvas, is never the same. I’m my own toughest critic.
Also, it’s hard to be understood. Artists are, by nature, solitary creatures. We see ourselves as being stranded on an island, isolated and alone.
One other thing and I promise I’ll get off this question. I know you asked for hardest but I’ll give you three, and this one might actually be the hardest. It’s finding the right amount of time you need to put into a project and do it right. Sometimes it can take an hour or two for inspiration to kick in and by that time, you’ve exhausted your personal artist time you’ve put aside from your “real” life.
Which characters are your favorite to draw comic book wise?
My favorite character to draw was Patrick, and he’s the one with the wings bursting from his back, in the rain. Just because He’s been with me the longest. I’m familiar with him and how he works.
The next would have to Newton Von Brisby and his companions. These are the protagonists of my webcomic. I think, of all of them, Bug would be my favorite. Just because he seems to the closest to my voice. My projection into that universe, if you will.
Besides those two. I really like to push the envelope of characters. I very rarely will draw your standard super hero or heroine. A good example of that would be my hand man. I love the fact that his entire body is made up of the representation of the hand. His feet, his hands of course, and his head. I’ve even stretched it sometimes to have his limbs appear as fingers.
You have a lot of original art, where do these ideas come from?
The ideas come from a dark and dusty corner in the back of my brain. If you visualized it, my trembling hand would reach into that box and pull out something that would fit onto the paper. Sometimes, I have to throw things out because they are just too weird or over the line and therefore, I can’t put them down to paper. I think the hardest ones for me to come up with are the most normal ones.
What projects do you have in the works right now?
Besides my webcomic, which can be found at www.anacomics.com/webcomics, I’m also working on an extension to my Harijan series where we follow the kids when they’ve grown up. The working title is Children of Osiris.
Another very cool project that we’re working on at ANA Comics is a book for Breast Cancer Research and Awareness. It’s a swimsuit pin-up book with both male and female characters from ANA’s universe and other characters belonging to some of the artists that are contributing to the book.
Tell us about ANA Comics and the work you do there.
My official title at ANA Comics is Vice President of Individual Properties Development, But we all really share in our responsibilities. ANA couldn’t work otherwise. We, Anthony Hary, Adrian Wilkins and myself, like to refer to ourselves as the three headed monster. While one is away taking care of personal matters, the other two jump in and keep the train rolling.
Right now, I’m focusing on the art side of things. Working on The Precarious Adventures of Newton Von Brisby and also the Children of Osiris title, which will published under the ANA Comics imprint. I’m also working on reviewing submissions to our company.
Another important thing that all three of us are doing is getting exposure and awareness for ANA Comics. Both Anthony and I, the two artists of the group, have been to recent Cons and have plans for ones in the future. But we’ve got ANA Comics ware for people to purchase and we’re constantly pushing our brand on the internet.
But the most important thing we all do there is try and find new talent and help them to find exposure through our company.
My personal favorite picture is the Turtles one, where did that re imagining for their look come from?
I had recently asked for suggestions for pin-ups and the Turtles were one of the suggestions. I didn’t want to do the normal two fingers and two toed versions. I wanted to give them my own signature spin. And at the time the I was drawing them, I was also doing research into how turtles and lizards would be represented visually on my webcomic for a creature that my characters would ride on. So, I made them more turtle like and brought back the dark feel that they were originally given.
What are you aspirations for drawing?
I want my drawings to make a difference. How they do that, I’m not sure. I want them to inspire people. I want the stories that I tell with my art to make this world a better place. I want them to expose our flaws and also our strengths.
What advice do you have for readers who want to draw for comic book companies?
I’m probably a poor person to answer that question because my answer would be to not give into the norm. To always stay true to what makes you an individual and to never turn your art to what The Man wants. I would tell that young artist to stand their ground with his fist thrust into the air.
In reality, their needs to be some give and take. There are ways to stay true to yourself while attempting to make your art into what the big companies are looking for. In reality, if you stand their with your fist in the air, they’ll just pass over you and move on.
If that young artist is truly looking to make a living doing comics then he or she has to understand that there is a demand out there and their art needs to meet that demand.
I’d like to thank Nicholas for his time and encourage all of our readers to go visit anacomics.com!